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[tar-ee] /ˈtær i/
verb (used without object), tarried, tarrying.
to remain or stay, as in a place; sojourn:
He tarried in Baltimore on his way to Washington.
to delay or be tardy in acting, starting, coming, etc.; linger or loiter.
to wait.
verb (used with object), tarried, tarrying.
Archaic. to wait for.
noun, plural tarries.
a stay; sojourn.
Origin of tarry1
1275-1325; Middle English taryen to delay, tary a delay < ?
Related forms
tarrier, noun
untarried, adjective
untarrying, adjective
1. rest, lodge, stop, abide. 3. See wait.
1. leave.


[tahr-ee] /ˈtɑr i/
adjective, tarrier, tarriest.
of or like tar; smeared with tar.
1545-55; tar1 + -y1
Related forms
tarriness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tarry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When the cocks crow at day, See that the steeds are saddled, nor tarry nor delay.

    The Lay of the Cid R. Selden Rose
  • Why should we tarry any longer to see everything moiled and set at nought?

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • I assure you, without wages, the people will not tarry, and contributions go hard with them.

  • Do you think I could not be permitted to tarry one week longer?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • To their ardent solicitation for me to return to Derby, I have yielded, which makes it expedient for me to tarry one week more.

    Memoir of Rev. Joseph Badger Elihu G. Holland
  • But perchance the tide was favourable, and you could not tarry.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • I waited for news that the ship was ready to sail, till delay made me heartsick, and I could tarry at rest no longer.

    Silent Struggles Ann S. Stephens
  • But yet his horse was not a whit Inclined to tarry there; For why?

  • Fain would we ask you longer to tarry—but it is otherwise determined, and we must comply.

    Nathan Hale Jean Christie Root
British Dictionary definitions for tarry


verb -ries, -rying, -ried
(intransitive) to delay in coming or going; linger
(intransitive) to remain temporarily or briefly
(intransitive) to wait or stay
(transitive) (archaic or poetic) to await
noun (pl) -ries
(rare) a stay
Derived Forms
tarrier, noun
Word Origin
C14 tarien, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tarry

early 14c., "to delay, retard," of uncertain origin. Some suggest a connection to Latin tardare "to delay," or Old English tergan "to vex, irritate." Intransitive meaning "to linger" is attested from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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